Challenge Barcelona Triathlon Kicks Off with a Sell-Out Event and World-Class Pro Field
October 3, 2023
This weekend’s inaugural Challenge Barcelona Triathlon on Sunday 8 October is a sell out with 3,200 participants from 57 countries, including a strong field of over 70 professional athletes competing over the new Elite Short distance in the heart of one of Europe’s most iconic cities.
/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – This weekend’s inaugural Challenge Barcelona Triathlon on Sunday 8 October is a sell out with 3,200 participants from 57 countries, including a strong field of over 70 professional athletes competing over the new Elite Short distance in the heart of one of Europe’s most iconic cities.
Formerly the Barcelona Triathlon, the sell-out field marks an 88% growth of the event from 2022 and also sees a significant increase in female participation which this year has grown to 30%. Age group athletes will race over the Olympic, Sprint and Supersprint distances on Sunday, as well as an Aquathlon and Junior Challenge race on Saturday 7 October.
The professional athletes will race for a €25,000 prize purse over a new hybrid distance – 1.5km swim, 60km bike and 16km run with a star-studded line-up that includes Alistair Brownlee (GBR), multiple Olympic and World Champion, and local Catalan star, Sara Pérez Sala (ESP), winner of The Championship 2022.
Top Men’s Field
Alistair Brownlee has an impressive record that includes two Olympic gold medals in triathlon at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, as well as two Triathlon World Champion titles and five European Triathlon Championships on his record. He has also been runner-up in the Middle Distance World Championship on 2018 and 2019. The line-up of male pros alongside Brownlee is strong including Frederic Funk (DEU), fresh from his victories at Challenge Samarkand and Challenge Kaiserwinkl-Walchsee, as well as Zell am See and runner up at the recent 70.30 World Championships. He is joined by Aaron Royle (AUS), runner up at The Championship 2023 and Challenge Samarkand and third at Anfi Challenge Mogàn-Gran Canaria but yet to find that elusive win this season along with Cameron Wurf (AUS), Ineos professional cyclist, Antonio Benito (ESP), runner-up in the World Triathlon LD Championships Championship in 2023 and Youri Keulen (NED).
Race for the World Bonus
In addition to the race to take top honours in Barcelona is the battle for the top spot in the Challenge Family World Bonus. Both Funk and Royle are in contention to take the lion’s share of the US$125,000 end-of-year bonus with points earned this weekend vital .
Close Racing Expected in Women’s Race
In the women’s field, Sara Pérez Sala is known for her outstanding performance at The Championship as champion in 2022, runner-up in 2021 and third in 2023, is emerging as one of the favourites to take a home victory at this year’s Challenge Barcelona Triathlon. However, she will have to content with Imogen Simmonds (SUI) who has had a stellar season with wins at Challenge Cagnes-sur-Mer and Challenge Kaiserwinkl-Walchsee along with a third at the 70.3 World Championships and fourth at the PTO Asian Open. Also in contention are Lucy Buckingham (GBR), who has had a solid come back from an extended injury break with two 70.3 wins plus second at Challenge Kaiserwinkl-Walchsee, and Margie Santimaria (ITA) who took the win at Challenge Geraardsbergen and third at Challenge Samarkand.
Challenge Barcelona Triathlon race director, Eloi Moragues, commented at the pre-race press conference, “This year’s race is characterised by placing Challenge Barcelona Triathlon among the leading events on the European calendar, both with age group participation, with more than 3,200 people, as well as with the very high level that will be in the Elite Short race, where we can enjoy the best triathletes both nationally and internationally, experiencing a great spectacle through the streets of Barcelona. We also want to highlight the very worthwhile project “Triathlon Without Borders” in which athletes with intellectual disabilities have been enjoying the preparation for four months to face their great challenge next Sunday, October 8. It will be so exciting to see the happy face of all the boys and girls of the ACELL Federation crossing the finish line. It will be a great day full of stories and personal anecdotes.”
The Challenge Barcelona Triathlon Elite Short distance race will feature on the English language live stream at www.challenge-family.live with commentary by Belinda Granger along with live updates and results. Coverage starts at 7:50am with race start at 8:00am. In addition, betevé will broadcast the event with a special programme starting early in the morning and will be extended with a programme lasting more than six hours to cover the entire event. This content is broadcast on betevé DTT and will be seen all over Catalonia as it is made in collaboration with La Xarxa. It can also be followed online at the website www.bcn.cat/esports.
For further information, visit www.challengebarcelona.com.